One of the many considerations required when planning a new build is deciding on the style and height of your ceilings. Ceiling heights have been ranked as one of the top three characteristics to consider when designing new homes. Ceiling design can make a dramatic impact on a home, create an illusion of space, elegance or provide an intimate ambience to a room. Ceiling heights also affect how people think and feel in a specific space.
Minimum ceiling height according to Australian building code is 2.4m for a habitable room, the exception is a kitchen, laundry, hallway or corridor where the height can be a minimum of 2.1m. Many building companies offer higher ceilings at extra cost, which takes into account extra courses of brickwork, additional frames and lining.
Is it worth paying extra for higher ceilings? Research shows that ceiling height has a direct influence on our well-being, thoughts and emotions. Higher ceilings promote clearer thinking and an overall sense of happiness. Whereby low ceilings can make us feel confined and oppressed and can have a negative impact on our everyday mood.
Of course, your home design plan could include a variety of ceiling styles and heights. You may opt for higher ceilings in your living areas and lower ceilings in your bedrooms, creating a cosier space.
Here are a few suggestions to consider when pondering your dream design…
1. Complete ceiling exposure
Here the ceiling would be open right up to ridge height, the point where the two opposing roof planes come together; there would be no enclosed loft space. Suitable for a single floor building, this is popular with barn or stable conversions. Lower beams can then break up individual room spaces or areas below this over-arching wide open space concept.
2. Partial ceiling exposure
Taking the above concept, but then adding lower ceilings to certain parts of the plan. For example, the bathroom and kitchen might have a lower ceiling, opening up into the dining and lounge rooms. Exposed beams, both vertical and horizontal, can add to the impact.
3. Using the floor level to accentuate ceiling heights
Across an open-plan design, a single height ceiling can appear to offer different aspects by building up, or even sinking, some of the floor levels. Simple examples would be a sunken lounge or a mezzanine dining level.
4. An upward reaching ceiling
Popular in areas such as upper-floor bedrooms, this ceiling design appears to form one side of an incomplete triangle, reaching up to its maximum height from a lower level starting point often over the bed itself.
The above are some of the many options, designed to spur on your own creativity. Of course, many project homes today only offer the more common flat ceiling, however there are a few clever design hacks you can employ to create a sense of space.
- Uplight your walls – use your walls for uplighting instead of ceiling downlights which only draws the eye upwards.
- Make the most of all available vertical space – take doors up to ceiling height or install a glass panel above a standard door.
- Lengthen your curtains – place the top curtain rod flush with the ceiling rather than just above the window and have your curtains fall to the floor.
- Install shelving to ceiling height – the wall will appear taller and so will the ceiling.
- Add lots of glass – full-height and width glazed doors will create a spacious feel and draw the eye away from the low ceiling. Skylights also break up the ceiling space.
One final important point, as your dream home slowly becomes a reality, it’s vital to use professional stage inspections for your new build. To find out more, and for an obligation-free discussion of your needs, please contact our experienced and helpful Houspect team here in New South Wales on 1300 258 789. www.houspect.com.au/nsw/